The Gnostic Circle

Thea, Puranic Cosmology Updated, no. 18

As I begin winding up this series, again the difficulty we have in understanding the ancient lore comes to mind. I recall a conversation in the late 1960s with Federico Fellini, a renowned Italian film director at the time. He was then working on a cinema version of 1st Century Petronius Arbiter’s famous novel, Satyricon. Fellini’s problem was how to give a faithful reproduction of a pre-Christian era without shadings from the later period to prejudice the authenticity of his artistic creation, particularly since the novel centres on a homosexual relationship which was frowned upon until only recently, but was a widely accepted practice in the Graeco-Roman cultures. Italian society can be traced to Roman and Etruscan periods which were very different from Italy of today, heavily influenced as it became by Roman Catholicism.

This problem surfaces repeatedly in attempts to translate texts from ancient times with our 21st Century biases; historians and Indologists of the Raj period are examples. However, it can be accurately done if we have before us the perennial foundation on which most ancient civilisations were founded. The difficulty lies in the fact that if we discuss the cosmic backdrop of that foundation, its so-called pagan identity surfaces immediately, which exclusivist religions of the Piscean Age have rejected as somehow evil and ungodly. Or else we have Indian culture which still clings to its pagan moorings but in a distorted fashion because of the loss of the Divine Measure, and overburdened as it is by the weight of an intolerable ignorance. Indeed, at the root of the conundrum lies the Feminine Principle. We may claim to worship the Goddess but our male-dominated contemporary society belies that adoration, even in India where Goddess worship openly prevails. Thus, the final result is the same: a distortion of the cosmic sense and purpose, and finally a loss of the cosmic connection entirely. We end by following the lead of belief systems that evolved out of the dark sea of Pisces where the Veda were effectively submerged and hidden from view.

As stated throughout this series, there was a clearly-defined method to the madness in the effort to keep the Thread intact. To do so a translation of the secret essence had to be carried out so as to use the populace itself for preservation. This meant simplifying the Veda, putting it in a form that could be the vehicle to serve this purpose. It was then a question of exoteric knowledge and esoteric. The latter was for the Initiate or the practitioner of yoga to understand. The former was left for the population at large. But the binding element that provided authenticity and relevance to both was the Divine Measure of the Year. It was essential to maintain the Measure through the tropical ecliptic with its 12 months/doors in tact, if preservation was to be successful. But we note that this was not the case: at some point during the last two centuries that simple, astronomically-provable measure was lost.We note then that the written Veda was a necessary addition to the process. From that point onward initiatic knowledge on the subcontinent took a decisive turn: it effectively went underground. Above the surface stood an exoteric store of Myth which was directly connected to the inner tradition, but its most cherished secrets were preserved for the serious practitioner of yoga. Initially the system worked well enough, but already by the time of Varamihira, author of the ‘Brihad Samhita (6th Century CE), the split between esoteric and exoteric had taken its toll; this is noted by the fact that Knowledge was not conveyed in his text as the focus of the astrological concept – it was prediction, pure and simple. Given this division and the secrecy shrouding the inner tradition, a degeneration set in when the essence of the Veda was posited so far underground that eventually it went into a deep hibernating sleep. What remains is a coating with little inner substance. Predictably, superstition came to replace Knowledge. Today there are few, if any at all, who can reconnect us to the core of the Veda and reconstruct society on its cosmic foundation.The wisdom of the power guiding the evolution of consciousness as mapped out in the zodiac is wise indeed. In point of fact, I have called the zodiac the horoscope of the Divine Mother. At regular intervals the process calls for a universalisation of the deep purpose and sense of the Tradition. But to do so it is required that the teaching be re-lived, re-established within the contemporary setting – hence the need for updating as in Puranic Cosmology. We can no longer hide our unknowing behind a convenient veil of ‘secrecy’, thereby wielding power over the masses and unknowing devotees illegitimately, without the sound foundation of true Knowledge. Nor can we continue to cover our unknowing by the elitist phrase, ‘It cannot be put into words’, a conceit of contemporary times, unvoiced in ancient cultures. The subcontinent today provides ample proof of the catastrophic consequences of this illegitimacy. But the question now is how can the divide between innermost and outer be bridged? To note is that we have evidence of the truth but today it is yet covered in veils; thus, the need of the hour is to remove these veils to allow the eternal truth to emerge into the light of day once more, and thereby to uplift the masses out of the ignorance that engulfs them.

Secrecy was considered vital in times when only fragments of the Eternal Truth were known. In such a situation it was believed that certain aspects of the Knowledge could be misused, and indeed there has been evidence of such misuse over the past 2000 years. However, when knowledge is integral, when a body of higher knowledge descends in its complete form, as we find to be the case in this 9th Manifestation, misuse is impossible. To be precise, this complete system involves or is the gift of the Great God of Time, Mahakala as he is known in the subcontinent. And Time is a ‘tool’ none can misuse; hence, Mahakala is considered the highest of all, the greatest of all the Gods.Cosmology is essentially a study of Time. The new cosmology carries this time perception to greater heights by revealing tools of gnosis by means of which shifts are made in our perceptive capacity which do away with the notion that we are the doers, that we choose, that we create. But the beatific vision of the Great God dismantles these notions: we come to realise that we are simply his pawns – when unconscious; or else his instruments when awareness is increased and the true mechanism of the creative process is understood. The great warrior Arjun was unable to sustain that vision (of the Time-Spirit) because the 8th Manifestation of the Scorpion/Eagle would not permit this highest perception. It is only now, in our very times, that the widest and highest vision of Truth is possible because now the Becoming is integrated with Being, failing which the Great God must remain behind closed doors and reserved for only a very few.

Evidently these highest states of perception cannot be realised by everyone. Nonetheless, a method must exist to draw the masses along with the elite, otherwise the Tradition must reach the Abyss of Time, as we find in India today, and the weight of unconsciousness is such that it exerts a pull of inertia impossible to shake off. When the population crosses a colossal billion surely the burden of Ignorance has increased exponentially to unbearable limits.

Notwithstanding the formidable burden of the Ignorance that India struggles with to continue the evolutionary march forward as demanded of her position of centrality – i.e., leader of the world in this higher process of Becoming – it can be proven with complete certainty that the essence of the Cosmic Truth has been preserved in the subcontinent and serves us well in this new age of universalism. Indeed, we may further state that the Ignorance has been an aide in the act of preservation and unveiling. The secret has thus been preserved for us today; and though distorted, the core is easily discerned by the perceptive observer, and with the right keys of Knowledge its heart of Vedic Fullness can now be disclosed. Had those veils not covered that Core – as in the Piscean/Matsya Ocean – its complete destruction would have occurred as we find in Egypt. The wisdom of the sages in those pre-dynastic times lies in the method they used for preservation which was the construction of massive monuments that could defy the passage of the aeons and the destructive bent of future generations. Ancient Egyptian civilisation’s task, as I have explained in The New Way, in Chronicles of the Inner Chamber and elsewhere, was to conquer Space; hence concentration was on a sanctity given to spatial measures, or the translation of the Cosmic Truth by its geometries into those colossi in order to fulfil the Dharma of the Manifestation during which period this conquest had to be made.

In India, as I have pointed out repeatedly, Time was the issue; by consequence the human being was the focus because consciousness is the instrument of Time. By means of the Geometry of Time the victory of this 9th Manifestation has been secured. And the tool for the operation has been the tropical zodiac, the ecliptic of 12 months, the basis of our Earth year.

This Year is what we find sanctified in the ancient Veda; and in spite of or because of superstition born of the Ignorance, that Vedic Core has been securely embedded and preserved in every temple of the Puranic era and in the myths that surround the temples. Thus, zodiacal lore abounds in Hindu temples, old and new, and is carried on through the popular perception via myth, the language of the soul. However, though the measure of 12 may remain sacrosanct, distortion has rendered that preservation useless for application – unless, of course, the protective veils can be removed.

In a nutshell, this is the Dharma of our current 9th Manifestation. It is the 9th in a long gestational series, but contrary to the human foetus this gestation covers many centuries, many millennia. Nonetheless, the gestation is exactly the same for the Earth and her civilisations as for the human creature. Indeed, on the basis of the Vedic Laws of correspondence and equivalence, we learn that the Earth has been ‘gestating’ for the past 50,000 years, from the 1st Manifestation to our own 9th; during this period we have been foetal in essence. Only now is the Child born.

Contemporary history amply proves the point. For instance, the two world wars of the last century of the last millennium were the contractions for the birth (World War 1 – pre-1926); and then the actual birth and the predictable battle for supremacy (World War 2 – post-1926). The new times commenced amid the detritus the first conflagration had left. Thereafter ‘forces’ arose to slay the Child, or to mould the newborn into a shadow of the true figure of Light which is our birthright; indeed, thereafter distortion became the keyword to usurp whatever that Birth meant for the evolutionary process. Since knowledge would be the hallmark of the new times, centred in India, what would otherwise remain inexplicable without the understanding of this cosmic foundation, Nazism adopted certain occult symbols sacred in India, foremost of which was the Swastika, the symbol of one of Shiva’s sons, Ganesh. A more exact example of usurpation and distortion as in Nazi symbolism cannot be found elsewhere; particularly its use of the Swastika, since it is an embellishment of the astrological symbol of the Earth, the circle divided into four parts and the foundation of the Map of 12 Manifestation wherein we read the destiny of the Earth over the aeons. Since the intention of the Nazi regime was world domination, the symbol was ‘appropriate’. This would be an example of misuse in the effort to appropriate the power of the symbol. The placement of its arms indicates the direction of the movement, clockwise or anti-clockwise. The former direction is the Precessional movement of the astrological ages, and the latter the annual rotation of the Earth around the Sun. (The belief that the Nazis ‘distorted’ the symbol by its clockwise direction is unfounded; both directions are correct.

A. Clockwise – Precessional B. Anti-clockwise, annual.

The way in which symbols are used by the uninitiated reveals their level of accomplishment. How fitting, when we consider that the Second World War was a struggle for the very survival of the Earth as home of the integral evolutionary process, the completion of which would be a golden age. This is the meaning of the Swastika with its fourfold structure and two directions. Naturally forces from the vital plane arose in full strength, because until then in its unborn condition the relativism of the Overmind prevailed, characterised as it is by innumerable possibilities, any one of which could be played out (the unborn foetus). The Overmental’s main characteristic is its poise on the periphery, disconnected from the central Point . The labour (birthing) of the last century was precisely the Act of Centering, or the unveiling of the inner Point, until then existing only in potential but as yet unrealised (unborn). It means that the process must then proceed from the Centre; from there the growth of the Child advances – that is, its existence is governed by laws that the Ignorance cannot impinge upon. It is an irreversible process thereafter, with Time as ally, facilitator, protector.At the very onset of the new Age, the Earth thus became a battleground in the effort to abort the birth process which would signify the demise of the Ignorance as the power ruling over her subjects during this lengthy gestational cycle.This Birth meant a radical shift for the Earth. We may discuss it freely now because as of 1971 the victory in its essence was completed. Since then what remained to be worked into the evolutionary matrix was a revelation of the new Gnosis which would be the ‘laws’ of a higher Purpose governing humanity. Understanding this higher Birth Process can provide answers to the travails the Earth is experiencing. This Gnosis can be seen as the armature of the 4th of the Solar Line who is, according to Tradition, the War God Mars, 4th planet from the Sun. Puranic myth informs us that Mars was formed of the sweat of the Earth from her great labour. And so it did come to pass.Given the Mars factor involved, it is interesting to note that the two world wars surrounded the onset of the new age – the close of the Piscean Age, the birth of the new Aquarian Age. More significantly, it was precisely when in 1938 the Earth was integrated into the threefold harmonic formula that the last great conflagration began (see The New Way, Vol. 3, and The Gnostic Circle, Aeon Books for more details). The wars themselves were a further indication of the times to come, because for the first time they were global involving all the major world players. Thus, the transformation of Mars is the adventure of our times.With this background we realise that history unfolds according to a certain pattern. Like a map it allows the journey ahead to be a conscious one and more easily followed. We do not fumble in the dark in the effort to closet the process into the forms of a past that has little relevance today. I have in mind the much-exploited Maya date 2012, sometimes referred to as the ‘end time’. In my view its significance lies in the fact that finally the Maya civilisation can be laid to rest, its purpose having been fulfilled. The new supramental Gnosis alone is relevant to our civilisation and has the capacity to reveal what has been and what will come to pass. On its foundation we do not predict fragmentarily; the Supermind offers a vision of oneness, of wholeness. And that wholeness is the keynote of our Age.More importantly, the Nazi usurpation of Vedic symbols – even down to the misuse of ‘Aryan’ to designate the rising ‘superior’ race – is the most accurate historical proof that India is the destined centre and soul of the Earth. Out of her womb the Child is born. At all costs that Child of the New Creation was the prize to secure.

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
Director
Aeon Centre of Cosmology

October 2010

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